ALA Annual 2016, Children & Technology, Live Blogging, STEM/STEAM

52 Weeks of STEM @ Your Library #alaac16

STEM programming isn’t scary, it’s fun! At least that’s the message Heather Love Beverley and Heather Thompson from Cook Memorial Public Library District in Illinois gave a packed audience today at their 52 Weeks of STEM @ Your Library program. From hydraulic butterflies, DIY Rollercoaster to programming without computers, they shared how to add engaging STEM programming into your library. Their advice:

ALA Annual 2016, Live Blogging, Programming Ideas, STEM/STEAM, Technology, Tweens

#alaac2016 takes over the Galaxy

Did you know they are reading about #alaac2016 in space? I have photos to prove it.   Okay, I’ll admit it. I created this photo, in under five minutes, with the help of Roberta S. Barber’s session  – Green Screens: Quick and Dirty. Her program was quick and effective. In this informative session Roberta introduced and demonstrated how to use the app Green Screen by Do Ink. This app is compatible with Apple devices, and costs under $3. This app is simple and easy to use.  After participating in this session, I feel confident that I can present a green screen program in my library for under $5.  All I need is a dollar store table-cloth, and my device.   The kids can take pictures using a green tablecloth, or poster board and use free images from Pixabay to create fun photo mash-ups.  The app even allows you to create…

Guest Blogger, STEM/STEAM

STEAM programming in Acton-Agua Dulce and Moose Jaw

Maker programming is a large trend in public libraries throughout North America. By researching kit options and planning for added costs, public libraries can develop successful steam programming. Moose Jaw Public Library has invested in a number of Maker programming initiatives which have been well received, including MakeDo, Squishy Circuits, and Little Bits. Prior to purchasing we sought reviews from a number of sources, including communications with other librarians,, and reviews at PLA and at other conferences. We funded our Maker programs through a grant and through donations from our local Friends of the Library. MakeDo encourages children to explore basic engineering principles. Each kit comes with a plastic safe saw, and several pins and hinges. Each library supplies cardboard boxes and the paper supplies required by the kits. Children can build anything they wish, or follow the kit instructions. While they cannot take their creations home, they can…

Live Blogging, PLA 2016, STEM/STEAM

52 Weeks of Stem at Your Library

I am really enjoying my first #PLA2016 conference. Today I attended “52 Weeks of STEM at Your Library”presented by The Heathers (Heather Love Beverly and Heather Thompson) of Cook Memorial Public Library District. As Teresa mentioned, they have a great blog ( that outlines their successes in STEM programming and fabulous ideas to get us started incorporating this into our own libraries. In addition, they shared a lot of other tips and tricks for those of us who might be just a *little* intimidated by the idea. Rule of Three: When attempting an experiment, measure how long it takes you to complete it. Then, multiply that times three. That is how long you should expect it to take during the program. It is ok to say “I don’t know.” This can be used as an opportunity to say, “After the program, let’s go look it up!” The programs they list…

Blogger Nicole Martin, Programming Ideas, Slice of Life, STEM/STEAM

Fingerprints and Forensics with First-graders

Did you know with a few simple, inexpensive materials and some creativity you can create your own forensics lab for early elementary kiddos? You can! I lead a STEAM focused program at my library for first, second and third graders entitled Imagination Lab. The idea is that for four weeks in the fall, and again in the winter, we meet up after school to explore a variety of concepts that fit under the broad umbrella of STEAM. We experiment, sometimes I demonstrate, and we always create something to take home. In the past few weeks we have explored the science behind sound, polymers, and color, but my favorite topic may just have been forensics! Inspired by the awesome Mad Scientists Club CSI program, I crafted my own 45-minute program for first through third grade patrons. I think this is a great program that can be easily modified for older children and held without breaking the…

Blogger Kelley Beeson, Digital World, STEM/STEAM, Summer Reading

I’m Saying It: Down with Summer Reading Club

OK, not totally down with it, but now that I have your attention…  see, at my library, we’re looking hard at what our SRC has become and asking ourselves what we really want for the kids in our community over the summer.  And I’m not sorry to say, it’s a heckuva lot more than sitting in a room reading 30 books over the summer – and maybe (eek!) it’s not that at all! For about 5 years now, I’ve felt like the traditional SRC structure is outdated and only serving avid/passionate readers.  And frankly, those readers will read no matter what. What I want for my kids in the summer, is great ways to have fun, get engaged, get involved, meet new people, relax, and through allllllllllll of that, maybe learn a few things. But see, it’s the fun, engaging, involved, meeting and relaxing bits I want to focus on….

ALSC Online Courses, Blogger Dan Bostrom, Books, Collaboration, Professional Development, STEM/STEAM

One More Week to Sign Up for ALSC Online Courses

We’re heading into the final days of 2015 and it’s also the the final days before the next semester of ALSC online courses! With topics like school/library collaboration, STEM programming, and the Sibert Medal, you can bring new ideas into your library! Classes begin Monday, January 4, 2016. One of the courses being offered this semester are eligible for continuing education units (CEUs). The American Library Association (ALA) has been certified to provide CEUs by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET). ALSC online courses are designed to fit the needs of working professionals. Courses are taught by experienced librarians and academics. As participants frequently noted in post-course surveys, ALSC stresses quality and caring in its online education options. It’s Mutual: School and Public Library Collaboration 6 weeks, January 4 – February 12, 2016 Instructor: Rachel Reinwald, School Liaison and Youth Services Librarian, Lake Villa District Library Science,…